Valentine Korean-Style, Red-White-Black Days

by K4E, 06/02/2017


The 14th Day of each month is a love-related day in South Korea, although many of them are somewhat obscure. However, the 14th of February, March and April are very well known. From early February, we begin to see special chocolate and confectionary offerings in almost every store, including coffee/donut shops, department and convenience stores, just about everywhere. So far a familiar site in many countries.

However, Korea men are not expected to make any Valentine's Day gesture – here, Red Day romantic gestures are the woman’s responsibility. The men get their turn in March. Another difference between Korea and many Western (especially) countries, is that the gift giving is generally limited to unmarried people in their 20’s.

On Friday 14 February, Korean women give chocolate to men. At one time, a gift of homemade chocolate was a clear ‘you’re the one’ message.These days only a small minority of surveyed men (less than 10% in 2012) said they wanted to receive chocolate on Valentine's Day. Many indicated that they’d love to have their girlfriend cook a meal for them, while the biggest group said they’d be happy with a kiss. 

March 14 is called White Day and this is when men are expected to reciprocate with non-chocolate candy to the woman/women who remembered them the previous month. Consequently, you’ll see all kinds of candy offering in all of the same places as you saw chocolate in February.

If you are an unmarried 20-something and you didn’t receive anything on either 14 February or 14 March, you can join other singles at Chinese restaurants around the country to eat black bean paste noodles (jjajangmyun짜장면) on 14 April.

For the curious, the other 14th love-related events are reported to be:
January: Candle Day, 
May: Rose Day,
June: Kiss Day,
July: Silver Day,
August: Green Day,
September: Music Day,
October: Wine Day,
November: Movie Day, and
December: Hug Day. 


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